By Paul Doherty
Headline - August 2002
ISBN: 0747258716 - PB
Historical Whodunit / Supernatural
1390s, Forest of Dean & Gloucester, England

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde,
Buy a US || UK Copy

We all know that Chaucer's pilgrims told stories as they rode to Canterbury, but master storyteller Paul Doherty has gone one further and decided that they also told stories late at night: tales of ghosts and witches, of the dead walking and ghastly deeds of darkness. In short, all the ingredients of a classic Doherty novel. This time it is the Carpenter's turn and he tells the company of his time working in Gloucester as a hangman, part of a team who always had plenty of money to spend and a fine tavern to meet in. But all this changes when young women start disappearing and three witches are found who appear to be guilty. The quartet have their orders to take them into the Forest of Dean and hang them, keeping watch over the bodies for three days, but when they flee a violent storm they come back to find the bodies gone. Now it is the turn of the witches to hunt down all those responsible for their ordeal…

Draw the curtains and put your feet up in order to relax with this wonderfully spooky robust tale of dark and dastardly doings. The colorful characters of the hangmen, eerie setting of the Forest of Dean and the helter-skelter pace of the novel all combine to make this the usual hugely enjoyable Doherty treat. How does he do it? Well over thirty novels and still the same high standard. Great stuff!

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